Summer House Santa Monica

I think I’m in the “nesting phase” of pregnancy–30 weeks!–because being a homebody just sounds so good all of the time. (Not so good for the blog, though!) However, getting together for brunch with my childhood girlfriends is always a great time, so we made plans to visit Summer House Santa Monica in Lincoln Park.

I’ve been wanting to come here for awhile. When I drive past it’s always busy, and I wanted to know what all the business is about! The brunch menu looked amazing, and when Lauren made the reservation, I was pumped.

Tip 1: Go on Sunday morning at 9 am. It’s not crazy busy, and its (dare I say!) easy to park on Halsted. You don’t need to pay the meters, either. Bonus!

Right when you walk in, there’s a dessert case you can order from and eat at your table or take to go. The Cap’n Crunch treats (like Rice Krispie treats) had me at hello.

The restaurant is gorgeous, one of those restaurants you want to live in with California cool style: bright, white, open, and light. 

We arrived on time and sat down right away in a nice booth near the kitchen in the atrium area of the restaurant. Close to all of the action, right? Well, yes, but it also got really warm. Like, take my jean jacket off, chug-water-not-coffee hot. So Tip 2: Dress appropriately or don’t sit in this dining section. (When I got up to go to the restroom, it wasn’t nearly as hot there.)

Our waitress was the identical twin of Joey Potter (Katie Holmes) from Dawson’s Creek. She was kind, but the service in general was a little…different. They ran out of cream containers, so they brought it to the table in condiment containers (read: lots of spills and fingers by the liquid). The coffee and water refills weren’t as often as I would have liked. We didn’t have flatware for awhile, and our plates weren’t cleared quickly. Which leads me to Tip 3: Be patient. It’s busy, and I think the food is worth it.

We started with a French Toast entree as our appetizer. It came with a generous dollop of whip cream and syrup. With four slices for four gals, this was the perfect start to our meal. Tip 4: Please, order this French Toast! Crisp on the edges but soft and buttery inside, the toast melted in my mouth. Try it and you won’t be disappointed!

For my entree, I could not decide so I thought quickly and got my usual scrambled eggs/hash browns/toast combo. Instead of breakfast meat, I subbed avocado, which I generously received half of an avocado! Tip 5: Eat scrambled eggs with avocado. Have you ever tasted this combo? What have I been missing? Smooth and creamy deliciousness. And I like to think I’m being semi-healthy, too. (Healthy fats, right?) The thick toast was nice with the butter/cream cheese (I couldn’t tell what it was, but it was tasty), and the jam looked outstanding, too. Two of the girls brought leftovers home, so keep in mind the portions are a good size. (Preggers here ate everything, no problem.)

Would I go back? Definitely, but I wouldn’t sit near the kitchen. Too hot. There are so many other menu items I want to try, it would be a shame not to return. Not to mention, Lauren gave me a heads up that Summer House is a great place to brunch with kids earlier in the morning. Maybe I can have it all! 

Summer House Santa Monica
1954 North Halsted
Lincoln Park


Signature Scents at Aroma Workshop

Before I started junior high school, my sister Lauren told me I had to have a signature scent. I chose Banana Republic W. Fast forward almost 20 years (oh my gosh, that’s crazy!), and I still have one: Jo Malone Wild Bluebell.

But a desire for change and a LivingSocial deal with a looming deadline recently brought my friend Gina and I to Aroma Workshop! After brunch with the gals at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, we sat down at the counter of this quaint garden-level establishment ready for some fun.

In front of us were probably 50 different scents, from light to floral to bold to musky. Sierra, the nice woman who created and mixed our perfumes for us, said to choose about 5-10 scents that we liked. Gina and I were all across the board with our choices, and even had shared some favorites.

Then, Sierra created four fragrance combinations made up of three or four different scents. I’ve included my combinations below. Once we each had four options, we focused on smelling them indoors, as well as outside. (During our appointment, someone in the back was eating lunch. Now, I’m not one to deny anyone of a meal, but it did make it tricky to smell our fragrance options over the food. The staff was very apologetic about it. And it didn’t keep me from making a good perfume choice!)

And that combination is…drum roll, please…pomegranate, white tea, sky, and white lily! It’s so light and refreshing, perfect for spring. My runner-up included sage, which smelled divine, but a little heavy and wintery.

Gina’s scent features fig, rose morning, and baby, and smells light and feminine. Good choice, girl!

So, with the LivingSocial deal, we also received cute glass bottles for our signature scents. We also were asked to name our fragrances: Gina’s is Gina Jo, and mine is Mrs. King.

To sum it up, I had a wonderful time and would definitely do it again! The shop keeps your scent on file, and you can also use it to create custom lotions, oils, sheet sprays, etc. that are available at the store–or pick something entirely new. Special thanks to the staff for their expertise and making our experience one-of-a-kind.

Aroma Workshop
2050 North Halsted Street
Lincoln Park

PS-Don’t miss out on Gina’s blog: Bacon, Bubbly & Boys! So fun!